My Kryptonite

Hi my name is Brandy and my fiance is Donald Fitzgerald. As most of you know Donald has been dubbed "Superman" and for good reason. Donald was diagnosed with ALL (leukemia) when he was 13 years old and relapsed when he was 18. He was cured of this cancer and has gone almost 13 years cancer free. During this time, he has undergone 2 hip replacements and a partial shoulder replacement due to the high doses of steroids he had to take. Then, on March 24th 2011, 3 months after his 32nd birthday, we got the devastating news that the cancer had come back. We are now at UMC about to undergo the long process of Chemo once again. He will have to stay in the hospital for a minimum of 30 days for the initial treatment. He is strong and will beat this once again but we need everyone's prayers. God is in control and there is nothing out of his hands. As someone posted once on facebook "The deals not done until God's done dealing".



Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Memorials can be made to:

Children's Cancer Clinic
2500 N. State Street
Jackson MS 39216
FBC Byram Building Fund
7541 Siwell Road
Byram MS 39272

Funeral Arrangements

Visitation will be Friday from 5-8 and again Saturday at 2. The funeral will be Saturday at 3. Visitation, funeral, and burial will be held at First Baptist Church of Byram.

Thank you all for your prayers and loving support. He was truly loved and will be missed dearly by all who knew him. He felt the love from everyone during his fight with leukemia. Even superman has his Kryptonite. Leukemia was Donald's. I know he is in Heaven now watching over us. I can't wait until the day I can see him again. I am so glad his suffering is finally over. He will never hurt again. Thanking the Lord for his many blessings. Even if we don't understand we know God has a plan and a reason for everything. He knows what he is doing and there is a greater good in all of this. Donald has touched so many lives and brought many people closer go God. Like the song goes " When we all get to Heaven, What a day that will be".

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In a Better Place

Donald lost his battle with cancer today. He was ready to go home and be with the Lord. He is free from pain and suffering. He fought a good fight and we will one day see him again in Heaven. He will watch over us and he will always be in our hearts. He had the brightest smile and was the most wonderful person I have ever met. I could never find another to love me as much as he did. He will be dearly missed. Thank you Lord for the time you gave us. We are not promised tomorrow and soon we all will be coming home to join him. I Love You Donald. You will be with me always!!!!!

I will post the funeral arrangements when we get everything together. Thank you all for your prayers.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Donald coded around 5:45 this evening. He had no pulse for 15 minutes. They were able to bring him back and he is stable. The doctors say it doesn't look good and they have called the family in. We know there is a greater physician and He says when it's time, not the doctors. God is good and no matter what happens everything is going to be okay. God knows what's best. We are still thankful for all of His many blessings. He is in control. We will praise Him in this storm!


He is being taken to the ICU. His blood pressure is dropping, oxygen in dropping, it's hard for him to breath and he is septic (really bad infection in the blood).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pain in the Mouth!

We got off to a rough start today! Donald's mouth is getting worse and it is becoming harder to bare. It has brought tears to his eyes many times. The doctor ordered a different type of medication that is supposed to treat the sores in his mouth instead of just masking the pain for a short time. He has an arsenal of medications to put in his mouth and none of them seem to be working. Hopefully this one will give him some relief. I was able to get him to sit in the chair for about 15 minutes today and ate what he could of his breakfast while I changed his bed. His back hurts so very bad though. He has a hard time sitting up in the chair and especially trying to walk.

He had to get platelets again today. He tolerated them very well. His labs still look good with the exception of the platelets. He did spike a small fever this afternoon for a short time but it has gone back down and the doctor's don't seem too concerned. We spoke with the doctor today and she said that within the next week his white count should be high enough for him to go home for a little while. She wants to send him home for about a week and then do a biopsy in the clinic. He will then be able to return home while we wait for the results. Hopefully he will be well enough to go home sometime this week. He is soooo ready to get home for a little while. Praying for healing, wisdom and strength. Only God can heal Donald's body and give him and us the strength to carry on.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Strength of Love

"Where is God?" It's a natural question when we're overwhelmed by tragedy. It can be a personal tragey, such as terminal illness or an untimely death; or it can be a national tragedy, such as our recent economic recession; or a global tragedy, such as wars between countries. Where is God in all this?

God would answer, "Right here with you, where I've always been." We fail to notice Him because we believe we're suffering something way too big for God to change, way too heavy for God to handle, so we don't involve Him. When He doesn't intervene in the way we think He should, we conclude God doesn't have the strength, power, or interest to do anything.

Our God, who was there when his beloved Son Jesus suffered and died on the cross for us, is the same God who can and will carry the burden of our sorrows. Jesus' victory over death proves that even our worst tragedy, death, is no match for God, who invites us to lay all our fears at the foot of His throne.

Where is God in your personal tragedies and in the world's terrors? Right there with you! Let the eyes of your spirit see Him as He opens His arms of comfort and reassurance to you in all life's circumstances.

By: HSR - A Celebration of God's Love


Donald is still hanging in there. His spirits are high and he is trying to think positive. He has his moments but for the most part he is doing good. The neuropothy in his legs has gotten worse and he has almost fallen several times trying to get from the bed to the restroom or sink. They have started him on a medication that should help with the pain and numbness. It will take about 2 weeks to fully take effect but we are hopeful that it will help. The doctor wants him to try and move around as much as he can without tiring himself too much. They want him to try and keep his strength up or the bone marrow transplant. Our current plan is for him go home for a days once his white count comes back up and them come back to the clinic for a bone marrow biopsy to see how well the chemo is working. At that point they will decide what they want to do next. If the chemo is working but he is not in remission they will hit him with another round of chemo. If he is in remission he will go straight to transplant, and if the chemo is not working they will have to try something else. We are optimistic and know God is in control. We are so thankful for everything the Lord has done for us. He continues to bless us each and every day.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Night Sweats

Donald had another restless night last night. Between the leukemia and all of the medications, especially the steroids, he is sweating a lot. He woke up several times last night drenched in sweat. He sweats during the day but it seems to be worse at night. He has also started to get neuropathy in his legs and feet. It is very painful and is making it very difficult to get out of bed and walk. This is all a side effect of the chemo and should go away but it has him worried. His mouth is pretty sore but nothing like the last time. He is still able to eat solid foods and his appetite has been good. His platelets are beginning rise on their which is a good sign that the chemo is working. The doctor is wanting to let Donald go home before doing anymore chemo. We are not sure when or for how long yet but I am sure Donald will enjoy being home for a few days. They started him on a medication yesterday that boosts your white count so hopefully it will not be long before he can go home. It will do wonders for his mental state.  

I came across a poem today that I thought I would share with you all. It came from Helen Steiner Rice - A Celebration of God's Love.

Look on the Sunny Side
There are always two sides - the good and the bad,
The dark and the light, the sad and the glad...
But in looking back over the good and the bad,
We're aware of the number of good things we've had,
And in counting our blessing, we find when we're through
We've no reason at all to complain or be blue...
So thank God forr the good things He has already done,
And be grateful for Him forr the battles you've won,
And know that the same God who helped you beforre
Is ready and willing to help you once more,
then with faith in you heart, reach out forr God's hand
And accept what He sends, though you can't understand...
For our Father in heave always knows what is best,
And if you trust His wisdom, your life will be blessed...
For always remember that whatever betide you,
You are never alone, forr God is beside you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving Right Along

Donald had a good weekend. He is still getting platelets everyday but they are coming up a little on their own. They have been averaging about 14,000 for the past few mornings. They jumped to 74,000 after one of the donor platelets over the weekend. We need to get some more of those. :) The doctor is talking about doing a bone marrow biopsy before doing anymore chemo treatments. They are going to wait for his white count to come back up first. The doctor also said she would like to let him go home for a few days before starting another round of chemo. We will just have to wait and see how things go over the next few days. Everything seems to be going very good so far. His lab work looks great, considering. I was able to get him in the wheelchair last night and took him outside for a little while. I think it made him feel much better. He has not been outside in 2 months. I am going to try and get him out of the room at least every other day. It's not always easy to get him in the wheelchair though.

I was able to get the microwave and refrigerator in the room and checked out by maintenance. It will be so nice not to have to get ice for the cooler everyday. It holds a lot more too. This hospital room looks more and more like home everyday. I am sure we are the only people that have a microwave in the room. I just wish we had thought about it sooner. Now that we have all of this in the room they will probably let him go home. LOL!

We continue to be thankful for all of the many blessings God has bestowed upon us and pray for many more days of good news. Praying for healing and that the Lord will lead us down the right path with his treatments.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Protocol 3 Day 2

Donald was in a good bit of pain today! The chemo is starting to get to him. He had to have platelets and blood today. He is actually finishing up his last bag of blood as I type. His appetite is still pretty good though. I fixed him chicken salad sandwich when I got off work today and he almost inhaled it. It thought about eating another one but didn't want to push his luck. His shoulders have been hurting him a lot today, especially the one he had surgery on. It is probably a combination of chemo, leukemia, being in the bed most of the time and using his arms to get out of the bed. He was a little down today but seems to be coming around. He didn't sleep very good last night and wasn't able to nap much today either so hopefully he will sleep tonight. They should be finished with all of his meds, blood work, etc.. by 10:30 so he should be able to relax and get some rest. He is still doing exceptionally well considering the circumstances.

I spoke with the nurse today about bringing a microwave and small refrigerator to the room since we have to stay here for so long and she said she would check into it but thinks we can as long as maintenance checks them before we plug them in. That will help so much. This little cooler we have doesn't hold much and it is very tiresome trying to replace the ice everyday.

Praying for healing and strength! I read something today that made me smile. "God has not promised a smooth ride but He has promised a safe landing" :) We just have to keep our eyes on him. There are better days to come.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Protocol 3 Day 1

Donald did very good today! They started his chemo and he has had minimal side effects. A little nausea and a headache but that's not bad. This chemo runs for 24 hours and then they will give him a different chemo once a day for 2 days. After 3 days of chemo they will wait for his counts to drop and come back up and then do it all over again. His sugar is on the rise again due to the Prednisone but that is to be expected. He hasn't started freezing me out of the room just yet but I'm sure it won't be long now. :)  Donald spoke with the doctor today to try and cut down on the amount of finger sticks he is going to have to get. They will only be sticking him once a day along with the lab work they draw in the morning. That way they can see where his sugar is in the morning and at night. There's not much they can do about his sugar being high because it's a side effect of the drug but that do have to make sure it doesn't get too too high. He also got more family donated platelets today and brought his platelet level up from 9,000 to 21,000. Overall he is doing exceptionally well. God has been so very good to him and I know he is going to heal him. Thanking the Lord for another good day and praying for many more to come.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Platelet Rise

Donald had a good day today. He slept the majority of the day and seems to be doing very well tonight. They pre-medicated him today for his Chemo tomorrow. They also started him on Prednisone again today. He will be back to eating anything that doesn't eat him first and freezing me out of the room. LOL!!! I will have to pull out the Eskimo gear. HA! He got his first bag of family donated platelets today and it brought his counts up from 6,000 to 22,000 which is wonderful. Praise the Lord! Praying this is just the first of many more good things to come. Donald will get his first round of Chemo tomorrow. They will give him an immediate dose of chemo and then hang a bag of the same chemo that runs in over 24 hours. This is the bad stuff. It doesn't play. Donald is anxious but I know he will do well. He is so very strong. God is watching over him every step of the way and will take care of him. This protocol is going to work and we will be able to move forward with his transplant before we know it. Thanking the Lord for such a good day and we pray He will continue to heal Donald's body. I pray the Lord will keep him strong and continue to give me the strength and the words to encourage him. God is good ALL the time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What a Day!

Today began like any other day. We knew what was on the agenda or so we thought we knew. We were told that Donald would get platelets this morning until his platelet count reached 50,000. Once he reached that mark they would send him down to have his central line put it. Boy were we wrong. I was just about to walk out the door to go to work when the nurse came in to unhook him and send him downstairs for the procedure. He had not yet received ANY platelets. His platelet count was only 9,000 when they drew labs this morning. So, we questioned the nurse and she said they wanted to go ahead and take him down for the procedure regardless of his platelet count. Well, we get downstairs and advise the nurse of his platelet count and boy does she look at us strange. She reads the doctors orders and calls to speak with someone with IR and, come to find out, the nurse was supposed to hang the platelets before sending him for the procedure. So, the nurse comes down about 30 minutes later with his platelets but she has nothing to hang them with, no saline, no tubing and no IV pump. The nurse was under the impression that they would have all of that in the IR dept. Guess what? They don't! Now Donald's nurse and the IR nurse are on a search for all of the materials they need to hang his platelets. They finally gather everything they need and find out the tubing they have will not work with the electronic pumps. So, they have to let his platelets run in by gravity and hope they are running in at the right speed. Meanwhile, Donald is getting more and more anxious with every passing minute. We finally get everything in order and speak with one of the techs about his procedure. We are all ready to go back but, wait, Donald can't go to the room yet. They have had an emergency come into the hospital and are presently occupying the room Donald is going into. The tech says it will be about 45 minutes but that works out great because he will have time to finish his platelets before the procedure. Okay! Over 2 hours later we are told the person in the room he is supposed to go in is having some complications so it will be a little longer. That does nothing for Donald's anxiety. They finally decide to take him into another room to perform the procedure where he waits for another hour and then they finally get his central line put in. He was in the procedure room for 1 1/2 hours for a 15 minute procedure. We were downstairs a total of 6 hours for a 15 minute procedure. Unbelievable! Needless to say it has been a very long and tiring day. Oh, did I mention Donald was not allowed to eat past midnight. He was quit hungry when we returned to the room at 4:30 this evening. He is now resting peacefully. His line looks good and is working perfectly. The procedure went fine and that is the most important thing. Regardless of the mishaps and the long wait today, the Lord blessed us with a great outcome. The time kind of flew by for the most part. I just hate that Donald had to sit up in a wheelchair the entire time. I'm sure it did him some good though. Maybe we can get him to get out of the bed a little more often. We know he can do it now! LOL!!! Thanking the Lord for allowing his procedure to go well and praying for continued healing of Donald's body.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Doing Good

The weekend has gone pretty good. Donald's IV has held up really well and is still working. He has had platelets every day but they are still staying around 8-10 thousand. He is supposed to be scheduled to go down to IR tomorrow to have another central line put in so they are going to have to pump him full of platelets in the morning. They have to get his platelets above 50 thousand to do the procedure. If all goes as planned they will prep him for chemotherapy and we will get this ball rolling. It's going to be a rough couple of weeks but I feel this time it is going to work. All we can do is continue to pray and leave it in God's hands.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Days End

Well, as the day has come to a close, Donald is doing good. He is very tired after today's events and extremely glad the day is over. They were able to get an IV on the second try by calling in the flight nurse. For those of you who don't know what a flight nurse is, they are the ones that go out in the helicopter to pick up patients. They are VERY good at putting in an IV. Donald received a bag of platelets today after they were able to get the IV started and the doctor pulled out his central line with no complications. The biggest downside to not having a central line is they have to stick him every morning to draw blood and then again after he gets platelets. It also puts a strain on getting his antibiotics because with only one IV line he can only have one thing going at a time. Luckily they took him off of one of the IV antibiotics and started him on an oral antibiotic. He now only has 1 antibiotic and 1 antifungal through his IV. Hopefully Donald will be able to get some rest tonight. He was up most of last night with severe back pain. So, he hasn't had much sleep over the past 24 hours. Praying for a restful night and good day tomorrow.

Not So Good News!

The doctor just came in and advised us that because of the fungal infection in Donald's blood they are going to have to remove his central line. She advised they will have to put in a regular IV line for the weekend and then put in a new central line on Monday. Now, the problems we are facing with this are:  it is extremely difficult to find a good vein to put in an IV and his platelets are so low that it is going to be difficult to get them high enough to do the procedure to put in a new line since his body is rejecting donor platelets. Donald's anxiety is elevated due to these issues. I know God is in control and will see us through all of this but Donald needs lots encouragement and reassurance. It's easy for us to tell him everything is going to be okay when we are not the ones stuck in the hospital fighting for our lives. Donald is getting discouraged and I can't blame him for worrying. I pray he will seek God's face and find peace knowing God is with him always.

The doctor also said that if all goes well this weekend then they will put in the central line Monday morning and start his chemo. I know everything will go well and he will get through all of this. God is so good to us and has blessed us during all of this. Sure, we have had hurdles to overcome but what is life without trials. For it is when we are broken that we can truly see Gods face. When life is going great we sometimes  fail to stop and say "Thank You Lord For All You Have Done" . We are too often caught up in our own lives to see all of the many blessings He has given us. God is Great and he will see us through this. No matter what Satan throws at us we will continue to Praise God because we know there are better days to come.

Desperate for Platelets

Donald had to get platelets once again yesterday. His body has built up antibodies to donor platelets so they are staying around 10,000. Basically, just as soon as he gets the platelets his bodies is destroying them. The doctors say that family members platelets are sometimes better and not rejected as easily so there are a few close relatives planning to donate to see if it makes a difference. He is getting platelets on a daily basis now and they are in short supply so if anyone can donate that would be great. You have to make an appointment to donate platelets though. You just give them the same code as blood (CY83) and his name when you call.

They started him on an IV anti-fungal yesterday because his cultures came back showing he has a yeast infection in his blood. That is why he started running fever the other day. I am not sure what that means as far as his chemotherapy but the nurse seems to think it will not interfere since he is no longer running fever. The doctor will be in around 11:30 this morning to let us know the plan. Yesterday she said he might start treatments today. Donald is very anxious about starting another round of chemo, especially this one. He remembers it all too well from childhood and he said it made him very sick. I am just praying it will get rid of these nasty leukemia blasts so that he can move forward.

His back has been hurting him a lot lately. We are not exactly sure what that is from. It could be from staying in the bed and not moving around. He has been trying to walk around the room and be a little more active but it's not easy when you have lost your strength. He is just tired and wants to go home so badly. I know he will be able to return home soon enough. This protocol is going to work. I just know it is!

Thanking the Lord for his blessings and praying for another good day.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.    Psalm 19:14

Thursday, July 7, 2011

God on the Mountain

Life is easy when your up on the mountain and you've got peace of mind like you've never known. But things change when you're down in the valley. Don't lose faith for your never alone. For the God on the mountain is still God in the valley. When things go wrong he'll make them right. The God of the good times is still God in the bad times. The God in the day is still God in the night. We talk the faith when we're up on the mountain. Talk come so easy when life's at it's best. Now it's down in the valley's, trials and temptations. That's when your faith is really put to the test.
"God on the Mountain" by the Gaithers (great song if you get the chance to listen to it)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Comment Problem Fixed!

I think I have fixed that problem we have been having with not being able to comment on the blog. So, if you would like you can try to comment now and see if it is working right. Thanks!


Well, Donald got the disappointing news this morning that they are not going to let him go home. He will be starting his new chemo protocol as early as tomorrow. They are just waiting on the cultures to come back clear to begin. His temperature got up to 102 in the early morning hours and he had to have another bag of platelets as well. His body is rejecting the donor platelets and is unable to make new ones due to the leukemia blasts in his marrow. It is important that they begin treatment as soon as possible. Donald was really looking forward to going home for a few days but I know God has a plan and he will return home soon enough. Praying this new protocol works and he is able to proceed with the bone marrow biopsy soon. He is so tired but I know he can find strength in the Lord.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Another Day

Donald had a really bad night last night. He was hurting pretty bad and started running fever this morning. They have put him on another antibiotic by IV and are not going to let him go home today. Not sure if they will let him go home at all now. They drew cultures today and they take 24 to 48 hours to grow. He had platelets first thing this morning and he had 2 units of blood this evening. They are watching his fever today and the doctor will let us know what they decide. For whatever reason, the Lord is not ready for him to return home just yet. He is watching over Donald and knows what is best. I am glad this happened at the hospital instead of waiting for him to get home. I am just as ready for him to be home as anyone but I know God is in control and he will see that he goes home when the timing is right. Thank you Lord for all of your small blessings in disguise. Although we may not know what He has planned, we must have faith in Him and trust HIM.

Monday, July 4, 2011

There's No Place Like Home

The day has gone very well. Donald has been in great spirits in preparation to return home. He had a long hot shower and sat in the chair for a bit today. He even let me give him a shave. He felt so much better. The doctor came by this morning and advised he is still okay to go home tomorrow. The plan is to give him is last round of antibiotics in the morning, give him a unit of platelets and then prepare him for discharge. He will be able to go home from Tuesday to Sunday. We will return to the hospital on Monday for round 3 of chemo. They do not have his protocol written yet so we don't know exactly what medications he will be getting on what days and for how long. The doctor is supposed to be calling MD Anderson in the morning to see if they have ever treated someone of Donald's unique condition. We will not know for sure until we return on Monday.

Visitors:   We know how much everyone would like to see Donald but we have been advised that it is in his best interest to not have any visitors while he is home. It is far to risky for him to catch something and he can't afford to get sick. Any illness may prevent him from treatment on Monday and that would not be good. He will also be very tired and needs to rest as much as he can while at home because the next few weeks are going to be really tough. I will continue to blog while he is at home so everyone can see how he is doing. We are praying he will have a save trip home, without complications, and be able to build his strength before returning to the hospital. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. It means so much to us, especially Donald.

Another Site

I have created another site on Caring Bridge for people to read in hopes that other cancer patients may read it and be inspired. I just created it so I have not had a chance to journal yet. My plan it to transfer all of the blog entries to the Caring Bridge site. It will take some time so bare with me. I am however going to begin to journal each time I blog. I am going to keep both sites open so you can visit either site.  Please feel free to visit      


Donald is doing good still. He is very tired but that is to be expected. He had lots of visitors yesterday which really wore him out. It was great for him to laugh and have a good time though. He really needed that. He slept pretty good last night and is still sleeping now. He is so eager to go home for a few days. He will finally be able to get some real rest. It will do wonders for his body and spirits. The doctor is still planning to let him go home tomorrow if everything is still going good, which I am sure it will be. The doctors have not made their rounds yet this morning and we don't have his lab print out yet but he seems to be doing better today. His color looks good and he has already been awake this morning raiding the goody basket someone brought him yesterday. He is doing so well considering all he has been through. It is so amazing the strength he has. He is still fighting and not giving up. "with God, all things are possible" "ALL THINGS".............

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Still Got Our Gloves On

The fight isn't over yet. The infection disease doctors want Donald to complete his Antibiotic IV Therapy so he is going to have to stay in the hospital until at least Tuesday. It will be great for him to be home and be able to sleep in his own bed and finally rest. We are going home to recharge our batteries and return refreshed and ready for round 3. He has been sleeping a lot today and everything still looks good on his labs. He is really handling everything well and is eager to go home for a few days. Donald has had several visitors over the past few days which has been wonderful for him. It really lifts his spirits when someone comes to visit.  We still continue to pray each and every day for healing, strength and courage.

Praise God!!!

The doctor just left and suggested Donald go home for a few days to rest. She said she is going to try and get everything ready for him to go home by tomorrow, Monday at the latest. She said he will still have to come back every morning to get platelets but that only takes a few hours. She is sending him home for 4-5 days and when he returns to the hospital he will begin Protocol #3. This protocol includes high doses of Methotrexate which is one of the big guns of chemo and if anything is going to kill this cancer this is sure to do the job. We will remain faithful that the Lord will heal his broken body and restore him to new. Thank you Lord for this wonderful news. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bad News!

Donald is NOT in remission! Chemo didn't do anything! He has 80% leukemia cells in his marrow. Not sure where we go from here. Will let you know when we hear more.

Nothing Yet!

Donald had a bad night last night. He is still hurting a lot from the bone marrow biopsy. We had to call the doctor twice last night for additional pain medication. He is exhausted today. The doctor just left and they still have not heard back from pathology about his bone marrow. We are still waiting patiently or at least trying to. It is not easy. I am faithful that the Lord is going to take care of Donald but I am still human and occasionally it gets the best of me. Everything is still looking good on his labs with the exception of his platelets. They are still low and he will have to have another transfusion today. His blood levels look great though. They actually came up some on there own. He is resting right now and doesn't appear to be too anxious. Hopefully he will sleep until the doctor comes back with the results. The Dr. said she would be back when she knows something. Praying for a good report.